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Beware! The Hubris of Righteousness

Beware! The Hubris of Righteousness

At first glance, one might think that this article is about self-righteousness. While the infamy of self-righteous behavior is typically based on the unfounded belief in one’s moral superiority over others on a particular subject, the hubris of righteousness has to do with the conflation and extension of one’s righteousness into unrelated domains. It is an important distinction to recognize.

For example, a religious person might be called self-righteous if she or he considers themselves more pious than another of the same religious order. Hubris of righteousness, on the other hand, will cause a person to think that their expansive knowledge of their own religion somehow gives them superior qualification to make commentary or judgment on completely different religions, without having sufficiently studied the other religion.

I use religion as an example only because I think most people reading this will be able to follow the point I am trying to make.

What has animal rights activism taught me about feminism?

Before I became an animal rights activist, I was an armchair feminist. I believed in women’s rights, signed petitions for gender equality, and got dutifully mad at reports of sexual harassment and other acts of violence against women. I’d like to believe I’d support women’s rights no matter what time period I was born in and that I wasn’t just evolving with the times and the current social climate.

Rainfall

It's been raining, so I got inspired to write a poem.

Rainfall

Rain falls without care

For weddings or picnics

Or little insects going about their day

Do they lament the rain

Like humans are prone to do

The universe works against them

Ruined their precious day, they declare

Rain continues to fall, unfettered

Not too far away, unknowingly

Answered a drought stricken farmer's prayer

Rainfall Photo by JanFillem on Unsplash

Photo by JanFillem on Unsplash

 

In Defense of Travel

When I used to consider myself an environmentalist, I hated traveling anywhere. Not that I didn’t like to go places, but the thought of burning fossil fuels to enjoy myself bothered me immeasurably. After all, that is that all the environmental organizations were telling me that I shouldn’t be doing. I bought a hybrid and I would refuse to drive over the speed limit because it would mean decreased fuel economy. I’d plan my automobile trips to make sure that I wasn’t back tracking to visit someplace I needed to go, and if I forgot to get something from the grocery store, I’d rather wait a week and go without than make another “unnecessary” trip to the store. I would leave for my destination way sooner than I needed to just in case there was traffic so that I wouldn’t have to speed; and end up sitting in the parking lot of my destination, sometimes for almost an hour waiting from my appointment.

Be Vegan - Save The World!

Found at Gate A6 at SFO

Yet, here I am, sitting at the San Francisco International Airport getting ready to take my third fourth international trip this year. And, not only it doesn’t bother me, I’m looking forward to traveling as much as possible. What happened?

Using Dashcams To Aid Amber Alerts

DashCam by PaulTownsend via flickrImage by Paul Townsend via flickr

These days it seems like everyone who has a car has a dash cam. Well, maybe not everybody but there are significant benefits to having a dashcam. One area where dashcams could potentially have a huge impact is in finding missing persons based on Amber Alerts that involve vehicles. It seemed so obvious that I thought this application of dashcams might already exist.

Alas, when I searched online for dashcams that might support this feature, I could find none. Perhaps there are some technical issues holding back this use of dashcams. I will try to list and address them here.

Don't Have a Good Conscience, Have Good Consciousness

Do you suppose Hitler had a bad conscience? Or did he have bad consciousness? If you answered no to the former and yes to the latter than you already get the gist of this post.

I doubt many people, if any, have a bad conscience. Sure, they may have pangs of feelings of guilt but that are able to put those aside to carry on with their daily lives.

I don’t think any conservative, or liberal politician, and for that matter, oil executive, hedge fund manager, etc. wakes up in the morning and thinks to themselves, “How can I make this world worse off today than it was yesterday?” They all think they are doing the right thing according to their obligations to their constituents, shareholders, companies and their own selves and their families. It would be hard for one to live with oneself otherwise.

How Veganism Helps Me Cope With Trump's Election

Keep Calm and Go Vegan

My politics are what I'd call left of liberal. I've had people actually tell me that. And, while I'm disappointed with the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States, I'm not devastated. You see, it's because I'm also a vegan.

Vegans are probably one of the most despised group in the world today, right behind ISIS and Al-Qaeda,  ridiculed equally by conservatives and progressives. Our crime? To show compassion for all living animals. Why does being vegan not make me want to take to the streets protesting Trump's election, you ask? Let me explain.

The Last of Us and the Meaning of Life

The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us is a great game with a great story. Here is my take on what the message of the game is, which probably wasn't what the game makers were going after. It is something that has been percolating in my head for a while now and the way this story ends is a great way to make my point about what I think the meaning of life is. BE AWARE, major game spoilers exists after the "Read more" link.

Ideas For Future Cities

Y Combinator, a start-up incubator, posted an announcement for a research project called New Cities. The blog post for the announcement posed some questions the project will seek to answer. I find the project quite intriguing and applied for one of the researcher positions available. Here is my cover letter:

City ScapeI have been concerned about sustainability in a world with dwindling resources and a growing population for some time now. Larger cities, with higher concentration of people per square kilometer will be preferred and necessary to ensure the long term health of our planet and those who occupy it. Not only will this arrangement provide people faster access to the goods and services they want and need but it will be done in a more cost effective and efficient way.

Letter to President Obama

I decided to write a letter to President Obama regarding my feelings of how animal agriculture is (negatively) affecting climate change and healthcare and suggested that he use his position and influence to move towards a more sustainable and healthy system of food production.

Since I've heard that politicians like handwritten letters, I wrote it by hand. Below is a scanned excerpt of the letter. The full handwritten letter can be found here: Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3. My address and phone number have been blurred out on Page 3. (The text version of the letter and President Obama's response is located after the break.)

 Excerpt from letter to Obama

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